Daily Things (Written May 12, 2020)
It isn’t the big moments that make up life-
No, like music, it is the silence between.
The day to day, the commonplace-
These are the things that really mean
Anything worth while. Nothing momentous,
Not the flashy and exotic things.
Just this, where there is a place to live,
Where friends are, where laughter rings.
Adventure is simpler than you might think.
The late nights spent talking in hallways,
The early mornings spent saying goodbyes-
What a wonderful way to spend your days!
There is nothing small-minded about this,
Nothing shrinking or lazy at all.
The greatest acts of life are born from this life,
The biggest moments all born from something simple and small.
For love of another a person gives their life,
To protect a loving home, repay a kind smile-
It’s these simple daily things that mean the most,
The common things that are most worth while.
I had this one very meaningful conversation with a priest I knew back in highschool. He was very much a wise old man sort of person, someone who had grown up in difficulty and war and learning. I remember talking to him once about how life was going for me, what I wanted to do and be. Part way through this conversation he paused and looked at me like be was very concerned I was not going to like what he had to say. He told me that the adventure I was looking for wasn’t something I was likely to ever find. That I might think something like the military would sate that thirst, but it almost certainly wouldn’t…
I didn’t like hearing that, honestly. Partly, I suppose, because I knew it was true before he ever said it. I wanted adventure, to see incredible things the imagination could never beat. I wanted journeys where no other person had been, where no one else was likely to ever go. I wanted magic. What he spent a very long time trying (and, at the time, failing) to get me to figure out for myself was that the magic I was looking for was very real, just not what I thought.
There is magic all around us, I see now. A real friend? That priest was always reminding me that it is a rare good thing to make two real friends in your whole life. That is magic, really. Love? Real love? What else could that be but magic? The night sky, the summer storm, a white Christmas morning. Laughter in the face of struggles and sorrow, kindness from a stranger, bravery and selflessness in the face of danger and loss that can’t be beat. A letter from a loved one far away, a pleasant meal shared with good conversation. The world is full of magic, everywhere you look. It is overflowing with it, bursting at the seems.
The greatest adventures is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to said. The chances, the changes, are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.
-Glenn Yarborough, The Greatest Adventure
I could sing that full song for you from probably as early as two years old, but I guess I never appreciated what it was saying. I wish I could talk to that priest again and tell him that I get it now. Life isn’t particularly easier for understanding it, I suppose. But I can love now. I can look around and be really, truly, deeply grateful for everything in my life. It’s incredible.
“But it’s not just echoes of Old Magic that makes this world such a wonderful place. There are mountains and rivers, plains and meadow’s, oceans and rides. Architecture and orchestra, discovery and achievement– humans striving for mastery in one thing or another for thousands of years. These are the great things.
“But there are the little things, too,” she said, smiling. “For me, there are my morning walks in the gardens. My kettle telling me the water is hot. The fierce love in Mum and Bob’s bickering… There’s a pair for you! Two beings that started on very dark paths yet have been won over by all that is so very good.”
-Henry H Neff, The Hound of Rowan
That was a quote I loved and thought I appreciated, but I clearly didn’t understand it well back when I first read the book. The world is a wonderful place, if you choose to seek the good in it.
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